Bill Cosby, one of this country’s most beloved comics.
Gary Puckett, who with his Union Gap Band, had six consecutive gold records and sold more albums than even The Beatles in 1968.
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Darlene Love, a performer for six decades with top R&B and rock bands.
Grammy Award-winning musician and actor Rick Springfield, who also writes thought-provoking best-sellers.
These are just a few of the headliners during this year’s Thunder Valley Casino’s summer amphitheater series and the Lincoln Hills Summer Amphitheater Concert Series I was lucky enough to write about in the past three months.
Interviewing these stars, I almost felt like I was slipping into my former music editor job in a nearby city that featured live music nightly in the ’90s.
Compare that to five years ago when I moved to Lincoln and there were few headliners who performed here.
Fortunately for Lincoln residents, though, Thunder Valley Casino and Lincoln Hills have in the past several years brought more and more national acts to the area. For example, in 2012 alone, Thunder Valley brought in the Steve Miller Band, Creed, Smokey Robinson, ZZ Top, Diana Krall and REO Speedwagon, to name a few performers.
Today, we don’t have to drive a half hour or more for quality entertainment. The acts are right here in our neighborhood.
That includes Lynyrd Skynyrd with the Brodie Stewart Band this Friday at Thunder Valley, Charlie Wilson with Brian McKnight on Aug. 29, Cosby on Sept. 6, Martina McBride on Sept. 19 and Diana Ross on Sept. 27, among other Thunder Valley gigs.
Puckett and the Union Gap band will take the stage on Aug. 22 and award-winning Mark Anthony & The Memphis Flashbacks play an Elvis tribute on Sept. 5, across town at the Lincoln Hills amphitheater.
Soon, though, Lincoln’s summer concert series will wind down.
And next Wednesday, Lincoln’s students will start the new school year at Lincoln’s elementary, middle and high schools.
Besides taking advantage of Thunder Valley’s and Lincoln Hills' kid-friendly summer concerts, take your kids for a quick outing to the river, lake, beach or pool during the next few days.
Or spend time getting the backyard ready for a fall garden during the slower-paced summer days when it doesn’t get darker outside until around 8:30 p.m.
It’s too easy to fall into the pattern of staying in for the night after working, running errands and doing household chores all day.
But before you know it, your school-aged children will grow up and move away from home.
So make every free moment with your children count, whether it’s taking them to hear music, hiking at Hidden Falls Regional Park or picnicking at Camp Far West Lake.
Enjoy your time with your children because that time is fleeting.
By the same token, spend time with your other family members and friends while there is still a multitude of summer activities to choose from and the weather is inviting.
It’s easy to find fun activities in Lincoln for all family members while we still have ideal weather. Since life is only as exciting and fun as you want it to be, make the most of your remaining summer days and nights.